2000 Race Reports
Kmart 400


Race: Kmart 400 (Race No. 14)
Date: June 11, 2000
Track: Michigan Raceway
Qualified: 9th
Finished: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 194 of 250 (cut short by rain)
Points Pos. Before/After Race: 3/2
Points Earned: 170
Money Earned: $80,575


Don't look now: Earnhardt's second_6/11
Dale Earnhardt tends to loom even larger in the rear view mirror of a competitor's psyche than he already is. What he is right now is 98 points behind current leader Bobby Labonte, with no other drivers left between him and his unprecedented eighth NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship. This after finishing second in Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan Speedway. Full Story.

Earnhardt finishes second in rain-shorted Kmart 400
Dale Earnhardt got a solid 2nd-place finish in Sunday's rain-shortened Kmart 400 in Michigan. Early in the race Earnhardt's car was tight, but after some adjustments in the pits, the Intimidator moved toward the front. By the time Earnhardt was in full stride the caution came out for rain on lap 150.

When the race restarted hours later, the #3 went to the front. Earnhardt was in 3rd by lap 179 when another caution came out. After the pit stops took place, the Goodwrench Chevy was back to 4th and we had a new leader in Robert Pressley, as he only took 2 tires.

Rain started again in turn four during the caution laps, but it quit long enough to go back racing. When the race went green Earnhardt quickly passed Robert Pressley and moved to 3rd. Then Earnhardt passed Dale Jarrett and moved to 2nd. Tony Stewert was 1st, Earnhardt 2nd and Bobby Labonte moved to 3rd to challenge Earnhardt with 9 laps to go... then the caution came out for a wreck and then the rain started again.

Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt's car owner, said he didn't know what would have happened had Sunday's Kmart 400 not been cut short by rain.

"I wish we could have restarted the race," Childress said. "I don't know what would have happened, but I do know it would have been a hell of a race."

While under caution for a wreck involving Kenny Irwin and Geoffrey Bodine, Tony Stewart held the lead, followed by Earnhardt and Bobby Labonte. It appeared the track would be cleared in time for a four- or five-lap sprint to the finish.

But before the race could restart, heavy rain came for the second time during the day. This time NASCAR called the race, six laps short of its scheduled 200-lap distance. And Stewart, the race winner, didn't have to deal with an antsy Earnhardt breathing down his back.

"I felt like we had a good enough car that if I could make the first lap and get through those first two sets of corners that we'd have a shot of getting through and getting away from him again," Stewart said.

Asked what would have worried him the most if the race had gone back green, Stewart did not hesitate to answer.

"The black `3,' for sure. I know (teammate Bobby Labonte) is not going to hurt me," Stewart said. "He may go by me. But the `3' wouldn't have a problem roughing you up a little bit on the way by, just to say `hi,' and he'd smile and laugh as he was doing it."

But Earnhardt still had much to gain from Sunday's second-place finish. He moved into second place in the series points race, 98 behind leader Labonte. A record eighth Winston Cup championship is now a very plausible scenario.

Before the final caution, he battled Stewart, Dale Jarrett and Labonte for several laps for the lead.

"On the last restart, I felt good about my chances. I had four tires and (Jarrett) and a couple of them other guys had two," Earnhardt said. "I just drove the car a little bit harder than I'd been driving it and raced them hard.

"I got on the outside of Tony and Jarrett down in (Turns) 1 and 2. Then (Labonte) raced me up off this corner coming to the caution flag. We were lucky to hang onto second. I think it was a Pontiac day if the rain had stayed away."

Dale moved up another spot in the points to 2nd, and now trails Bobby Labonte by 98 for the points lead.

Earnhardt qualifies 9th at Michigan
With a lap of 187.456 mph, Dale Earnhardt qualified 9th on Friday for Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan.

Round 3 of IROC_6/9
Dale Earnhardt started shot-gun on the field but it only took him 4 laps to take the lead in the 3rd IROC race of the year 2000. Dale lead off and on throughout the race, having thrilling battles with his son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr who eventually slipped back to 8th... The elder seemed like the car to beat, but towards the end Eddie Cheever took the lead away from the Intimidator and Earnhardt couldn't get in position to get it back. Tony Stewart ended up finishing ahead of Earnhardt for 2nd. Earnhardt extended his points lead to 12 over Mark Martin, it looks almost certain that the defending IROC champ will win it once again.

Earnhardt: Man in Black is Back_6/8
Dale Earnhardt won't admit that he's obsessed with winning a record eighth NASCAR Winston Cup championship. But then that's what Dale Earnhardt is all about -- winning races and championships. Nothing else in racing matters to The Intimidator. Full Story.

Article: Earnhardt again leading IROC competition
Article: Hamlin no Brooklyn Dodger
Article: The Intimidator is Back

Earnhardt erasing gap_6/8
Look who's back within shooting distance of the Winston Cup points lead: Dale Earnhardt. Not the hard-driving new fad with "Jr." in his autograph and a rock nightspot called "Club E" in his basement. We`re talking the original. The seven-time Winston Cup champion who, at age 49, hasn`t won the title since 1994 and had largely been written off -- including here -- as over the hill. Full Story.

Elder Earnhardt's back in title hunt_6/8
Dale Earnhardt is squarely in championship contention. Going into this weekend's Winston Cup stop at Michigan Speedway, the seven-time titlist is third in points - 108 behind leader Bobby Labonte and 16 back of Ward Burton. Earnhardt was seventh this time a year ago, and that's where he stayed. These days, he and crew chief Kevin Hamlin have their sights on a record-breaking eighth championship as well as a certain green car. Full Story.

Richard's boys keep rolling
Two years ago, Richard Childress had a driver who was on his way out, and one who didn't seem to be on his way anywhere. Then, manager Childress brought out the hook, and threw the garage area a curve. He took his veteran crew chief, Larry McReynolds, and paired him with his younger driver, Skinner. He also took his younger crew chief, Kevin Hamlin, and assigned him the task of getting Earnhardt back on track. Full Story.

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